We spent 7 nights at Sublime Samana (January 18 to January 25). We had a great, relaxing time there. There were 6 of us (me and my wife, our 2 daughters (ages 7 and 5) and my in-laws). We stayed in the 3-BR Casita with the Rooftop Terrace (Room 1212). We could watch the sunrise up over the mountain in one direction from the Rooftop Terrace and the view the other way was out over all of the pools and ocean. Most of the rooms are not oceanfront (including ours).
The flight into Samana out of JFK on JetBlue was great (it runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays). 3 hours each way and you come right into a very nice airport that has little air traffic. The drive from the airport to the hotel was a terrific one – right through where they cut through the mountain and looking out over the ocean. It reminded us a bit of driving in Maui with the green scenery, palm trees, mountains and ocean, except this place is much more secluded.
We stayed at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana last year (huge resort; all-inclusive; tons of amenities). The Sublime Samana is basically the exact opposite of that. This was a small, luxurious, private, quiet place to stay. The weather was terrific (about 84 or 85 degrees every day) when we were there, with just a few hours of rain on just one day. The sand at the beach was soft and there was almost nothing in the ocean water (so no seaweed, no shells (except for the shells that are deposited right at the entry to the ocean)). Once you get into the ocean, there is nothing in it and the sand is incredibly soft. We really enjoyed the ocean water. My daughter loved riding one of the boogie boards that the resort provided on the ocean’s waves. The beach was great and you can walk in both directions a long way. Very private.
For kids, there is a playground. And they have boogie boards and some beach toys available to use. But there is no kids’ club and no kids’ activities to speak of.
Room: The room was great. We had 3 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms. The room had a balcony off of the master bedroom, a balcony off the second bedroom, and a large balcony off the dining room and living room; plus a rooftop terrace that ran nearly the full size of the whole 3 bedroom/4 bath suite below it that we were staying in. The master bedroom was actually really great, with a little bit of the outdoors brought inside with some open air in the master bathroom (very private still). It was great. Kitchen appliances were top of the line. Washer and dryer included in the unit, too. Great indoor and outdoor space. We were very happy with the room.
Food: We thought the food was generally good to very good, but not great. The included breakfast was good and included eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes, etc. We had no problems finding stuff to eat each day at breakfast. There is really only one menu, essentially, that is used for lunch and dinner at the resort for the whole week. As you can imagine, given it is a smaller resort and the menu is not endless, we did grow tired of the same choices day after day. They tried to have something special each day, but the menu definitely got tired. And our group wasn’t really interested in going out into town to dinner, after a long day playing in the pool and ocean. Introducing something off menu as a special each day would help. It would also be nice if they had a delivery service that you could order dinner out a night or two and have it delivered. Or something different just to break up the monotony. Room Service was good, too. Drinks ranged from OK to great, depending on who was making them and what you ordered.
I thought the prices for drinks and food were what I would expect for a hotel that is part of the SLH of the World collection. Not cheap, but not that expensive, either. 28% is tacked on top. The 18% Dominican tax, plus 10% service. But nothing more was expected. There wasn’t even a line for anything additional. You just sign and go (yes, we were able to sign for everything and have it charged to our room). I would recommend you bring some small bills, though, as it is not that easy to get change here.
Service: The service was very good. The hotel staff and restaurant workers were all very friendly. I’m sure we’ll forget some people, but we wanted to give a shout out to Edwin, Leonardo, Aurelio, Pedro, Ramon, Ariel, Augustine, Santo and Albert, plus Bruno (the GM) and his front desk staff. They were all great. Bruno was present around the resort every day, so it wasn’t hard to find him if you wanted something. They could have been a little more pro-active in serving us drinks when we were pool-side. But that was a minor complaint.
Other: If needed, the Wi-Fi connection at the resort was good (at least in my room). The resort was very quiet with no entertainment or nighttime activities. If you like action at night at your resort, this wouldn’t be the place for you. There is no store on-site. They do put refreshments (beer, soda and water and a bowl of fruit) in your room each day. But if you need suntan lotion or snacks or anything, you have to get a taxi (or rent a car) to drive into town. So I’d bring suntan lotion with you (though Bruno did offer to send someone to town to get us suntan lotion - we figured we might as well go ourselves and pick up some snacks).
Things to improve: Finding a way to vary the menu more in some way over the course of a week would be a big improvement. Increased options for kids’ activities would be great, too. Even something as simple as having the resort arrange for the kids to have the ability to paint coconuts or something simple like that once a day or something. A small on-site selection of snacks/refreshments, suntan lotion, etc. would be great.
Overall, we really had a great week at the resort. If you are looking for a place to kick back and relax, then I’d highly recommend the Sublime Samana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the Northeast coast of the Dominican Republic lies the dramatic lush, green tropical jungle clad hills and fine-sand beaches of the Samana Peninsula. Tucked away in this unspoiled tropical paradise lies Sublime Samana, a modern yet elegant luxury resort and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.The seven-acre property centers around the expansive canal of pools stretching nearly 500 feet from end-to-end. Rooms have been artfully built to create a contemporary setting in harmony with nature. One- and two-bedroom suites feature a living room, master bedroom and bathroom, guest bathroom, spacious balcony, and kitchen with Viking appliances. Views from the room are of the canals of streaming pools that line the lush gardens. Even more opulent are the 2- and 3-bedroom villas that feature large bedrooms, indoor and outdoor living spaces, a Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art kitchen with top floor villas featuring a rooftop terrace and plunge pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sublime Samana Dominican Republic - Las Terrenas